HOUSTON - A Houston family evicted from their apartment on national television this week is now receiving financial help from around the world.
In an emotional interview on Friday, Israel Rodriguez thanked the thousands of people who have donated to his family.
“This is the best thing that could ever happen,” said Rodriguez. “I didn’t expect all of the help that I got. It helped us so much. It’s unbelievable how people have such a great heart.”
In the national TV report, Harris County Constables followed a judge’s orders and evicted Israel, his two children, and their mother from an apartment. Rodriguez admits they hadn’t been keeping up with rent throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. In the news report, Rodriguez can be seen with his 20-month-old and 4-year-old sons.
“My kids are not old enough to understand, but they have eyes,” said Rodriguez. “They’re looking and they see what’s going on. They know what’s going on. They’re babies but they see what’s going on. It ain’t their fault, I’m the father. It’s my fault, but I’m learning from my mistakes.”
Harris County Pct. 1 Constable Alan Rosen says they’re trying to help families evicted because of the pandemic. Now, personally helping the Rodriguez family.
“He’s got a place to live,” said Constable Rosen. “We’re putting [Rodriguez] in a hotel until we get a permanent place for him. We want to put him in some place where he and his family can thrive.”
An executive order issued by President Donald Trump this week should prevent future evictions.
In a written statement from the White House we’re told, “Following an Executive Order by President Trump, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is using its authority to temporarily halt evictions through the end of 2020 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said the written statement. Under the CDC Order, American renters who meet certain conditions cannot be evicted if they have affirmatively exhausted their best efforts to pay rent, seek Government rental assistance, and are likely to become homeless due to eviction.”
The national story involving Rodriguez went viral on Twitter. Houston Texans Quarterback Deshaun Watson even tweeted, “This is crazy. Someone please help me find Israel Rodriguez and the elderly women in this video. Would love to help them get back on their feet.”
So far, thousands of people have donated to an online fundraising page supporting the 24-year-old father following his eviction.
“I want to be able to learn, and be responsible to what I have to pay on the next upcoming rent,” said Rodriguez. “I’m not the only one struggling, but for people to reach out to me, it’s the best thing that could ever happen to make a better change in life.”
“It ain’t fair to just help me,” said Rodriguez. “I want everyone to reach out to other people. If they need help, help them out.”